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Dirt isn’t scary, but accidentally breaking an underground gas line can be! So before undertaking any digging projects, please contact 8-1-1 at least two working days prior to your excavation to have underground utility lines marked for free. You can also submit a location request at Digalert.org.

It’s important that you contact 811 before you begin any projects, like trenching, drilling, road work, building a pool or installing landscaping. Contacting 8-1-1 helps keep your neighborhood and utility services safe.

Accidentally hitting a gas line can result in a serious safety hazard, fires, property damage, loss of utility service, costly repairs and fines. Gas leaks also cause a range of inconveniences including service outages, closed streets and unnecessary strain on emergency teams.

Gas pipelines and electric lines can be located anywhere — under streets, sidewalks and yards. Even simple projects like planting trees or installing a fence require you to find out if any utility lines are running underground in the area you are planning to dig. Homeowners often make risky assumptions about whether they should get their utility lines marked, but every digging job requires contacting digalert.org to have buried lines marked by SDG&E at no cost.

California state law stipulates you need to contact DigAlert.org before you dig. According to the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) Report, an underground utility line is damaged every six minutes in the United States because someone decided to dig without having utility lines marked first.

Because many utility lines are buried just a few inches below ground, you should only use hand tools to dig within 24 inches of marked gas lines. Something as simple as a slight gouge, scrape or dent to a gas pipeline could lead to a leak.

Remember, contacting 8-1-1 helps prevent injuries, property damage and costly repairs. Failure to do so can result in expensive fines and you could be charged with the repair costs of damaged underground facilities.

If you suspect a natural gas pipeline has been damaged, or you detect a gas leak, call SDG&E immediately at (800) 411-7343. Always err on the side of caution.

Please visit sdge.com/811 for more information.